Reprogramming of mouse and human somatic cells by high-performance engineered factors.
ABSTRACT Reprogramming somatic cells to become induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by using defined factors represents an important breakthrough in biology and medicine, yet remains inefficient and poorly understood. We therefore devised synthetic factors by fusing the VP16 transactivation domain to OCT4 (also known as Pou5f1), NANOG and SOX2, respectively. These synthetic factors could reprogramme both mouse and human fibroblasts with enhanced efficiency and accelerated kinetics. Remarkably, Oct4-VP16 alone could efficiently reprogramme mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into germline-competent iPSCs. Furthermore, episomally delivered synthetic factors could reproducibly generate integration-free iPSCs from MEFs with enhanced efficiency. Our results not only demonstrate the feasibility of engineering more potent reprogramming factors, but also suggest that transcriptional reactivation of OCT4 target genes might be a rate-limiting step in the conversion of somatic cells to pluripotent cells. Synthetic factor-based reprogramming might lead to a paradigm shift in reprogramming research.
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ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have been generated from mouse and human somatic cells by introducing Oct3/4 and Sox2 with either Klf4 and c-Myc or Nanog and Lin28 using retroviruses or lentiviruses. Patient-specific iPS cells could be useful in drug discovery and regenerative medicine. However, viral integration into the host genome increases the risk of tumorigenicity. Here, we report the generation of mouse iPS cells without viral vectors. Repeated transfection of two expression plasmids, one containing the complementary DNAs (cDNAs) of Oct3/4, Sox2, and Klf4 and the other containing the c-Myc cDNA, into mouse embryonic fibroblasts resulted in iPS cells without evidence of plasmid integration, which produced teratomas when transplanted into mice and contributed to adult chimeras. The production of virus-free iPS cells, albeit from embryonic fibroblasts, addresses a critical safety concern for potential use of iPS cells in regenerative medicine.Science 11/2008; 322(5903):949-53. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be generated from somatic cells by the introduction of Oct3/4 (also known as Pou5f1), Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, in mouse and in human. The efficiency of this process, however, is low. Pluripotency can be induced without c-Myc, but with even lower efficiency. A p53 (also known as TP53 in humans and Trp53 in mice) short-interfering RNA (siRNA) was recently shown to promote human iPS cell generation, but the specificity and mechanisms remain to be determined. Here we report that up to 10% of transduced mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking p53 became iPS cells, even without the Myc retrovirus. The p53 deletion also promoted the induction of integration-free mouse iPS cells with plasmid transfection. Furthermore, in the p53-null background, iPS cells were generated from terminally differentiated T lymphocytes. The suppression of p53 also increased the efficiency of human iPS cell generation. DNA microarray analyses identified 34 p53-regulated genes that are common in mouse and human fibroblasts. Functional analyses of these genes demonstrate that the p53-p21 pathway serves as a barrier not only in tumorigenicity, but also in iPS cell generation.Nature 09/2009; 460(7259):1132-5. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The overexpression of defined transcription factors in somatic cells results in their reprogramming into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The extremely low efficiency and slow kinetics of in vitro reprogramming suggest that further rare events are required to generate iPS cells. The nature and identity of these events, however, remain elusive. We noticed that the reprogramming potential of primary murine fibroblasts into iPS cells decreases after serial passaging and the concomitant onset of senescence. Consistent with the notion that loss of replicative potential provides a barrier for reprogramming, here we show that cells with low endogenous p19(Arf) (encoded by the Ink4a/Arf locus, also known as Cdkn2a locus) protein levels and immortal fibroblasts deficient in components of the Arf-Trp53 pathway yield iPS cell colonies with up to threefold faster kinetics and at a significantly higher efficiency than wild-type cells, endowing almost every somatic cell with the potential to form iPS cells. Notably, the acute genetic ablation of Trp53 (also known as p53) in cellular subpopulations that normally fail to reprogram rescues their ability to produce iPS cells. Our results show that the acquisition of immortality is a crucial and rate-limiting step towards the establishment of a pluripotent state in somatic cells and underscore the similarities between induced pluripotency and tumorigenesis.Nature 09/2009; 460(7259):1145-8. · 38.60 Impact Factor